I was very pleased to learn that I have been successful with my application for EFIAP Platinum.
I remember before I first started entering FIAP exhibitions and I saw the requirements for the various distinctions. The AFIAP looked achievable, the EFIAP would take quite a lot of effort, and the various EFIAP levels had such high requirements that I daren’t even think about them. One of the reasons for entering exhibitions was to motivate me to produce more and better images, and it certainly had that effect. The ever increasingly difficulty of each level ensured that I became extremely prolific in producing new images.
Just as I achieved the penultimate distinction EFIAP Gold in 2015 the rules were changed to virtually double the requirements for the final distinction, Platinum, which I estimate would have added around 4 more years and a significant cost to achieve. A year later the rules were almost reversed, with the Platinum level requiring 700 acceptances, with 250 different images, from at least 20 different countries, with 7 awards each from a different countries. With such complex requirements it is important to have good records on your acceptances, and to plan carefully which salons you enter so you don’t end up with too many acceptances surplus to requirements.
I was careful which salons I entered, as each one costs money, money that I could be spending on my photography. I would enter print salons as I love prints, I’d enter salons that produced great catalogues, but most of the time I would enter salons strategically to minimise the number of salons I had to enter to get to my goal. I would work out how many sections I could enter, and what the likely cost per acceptances was. As I only shoot nudes sections such as landscapes or wildlife are out, while sections such as people, nudes, women or portraits were good, although I did enter a section entitled Forests with 4 nudes in woodlands and got them all in!
I got from AFIAP to EFIAP/Platinum in 7 years, entering only 115 salons – I know some photographers who have entered that many salons in a year! I had hoped to achieve the 6 different distinctions in consecutive years but the rule change put paid to that. Overall I think I managed the whole process quite cost effectively and efficiently, although the planning and recording took a great amount of time. FIAP have now produced 2 levels above the Platinum, I’ve achieved my initial goal from all those years ago, so while I still enter exhibitions that interest me, especially print exhibitions and those with good catalogues, I won’t be going any further and I’ll leave the other salons to those who are on their own distinctions journey, and I hope they enjoy it as much as I did.
While I entered salons to improve my photography, one of the the greatest benefits I got was all the new friends I met, mostly online but also getting to meet many of them in person. I now have lots of good friends I have visited in many countries such as Portugal, Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Serbia, The Netherlands, and I’ll shortly be making a number of new friends in Denmark.
Here’s all the images that got me from the Gold to Platinum level, the images that got me to the Gold level can be seen in a previous blog post. Many thanks to all the models involved, and all the great photographers I met and worked with as well, and an especially big thank you to Dave Coates who does the massive job of checking and collating all the applications for FIAP distinctions, without volunteers like him none of us would have any distinctions, thank you Dave.